Prya Oliveira, Staff Writer
Archery practices the skill of relaxation, mindfulness, and competitiveness. Dylon Maertens, president of Saint Martin’s Archery Club, said that club practices are open to new people. “Anyone can come and we will show them how to shoot. It’s just a relaxing environment,” he said.
Alexander Tilton, Archery Club Treasurer, mentioned that the club is struggling with numbers this semester.
“Many members come and go. This semester particularly we don’t have too many people coming and that is part of the reason why we wanted to reach out to the Belltower,” Tilton said.
Archery can be an extremely competitive sport, even having its own Olympic team. The archery club, too, has the potential to be competitive, if that is the path that members want to take. But for now, it is solely a place to de-stress and relax.
Anyone can enjoy the sport of archery. It helps you improve your posture and stamina, and learn body mindfulness. One needs to be aware of where their hands are on the bow, and if the bow is positioned correctly. Learning form can be difficult, but Maertens said that with practice, one’s shots will become more accurate.
Archery can improve one’s mindset by understanding how to improve shooting skills while also not getting discouraged when a shot is missed. This skill also leads to mental strength, because the sport teaches patience and focus.
On the physical side of archery, upper body and core strength are practiced when pulling the bow and keeping it steady when aiming. The sport can teach goal setting since there is always a target to hit. It is up to self-motivation of participants to keep trying to reach that goal even after missing the target.
From what both Maertens and Tilton said, the club always has a fun time when they get together, saying that free candy is always provided, which is a plus. Sometimes, they practice competitive archery within the group by having two people shoot off with three arrows each, and whoever hits the most targets wins. That creates a sort of friendly competition that allows each side to improve.
Club practices are now 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays in the Charneski Recreational Center. Maertens says this is because from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. people normally eat dinner, which opens space in the Rec. Recently, the club had to shift times to accommodate intramurals, and because of safety reasons, archery club need a lot of space in the Rec for practices.
Archery club currently has six returning members, all of whom are seniors and will be graduating. They are looking for new club leadership. Maertens says if students are looking for a leadership position this is a perfect opportunity for them, and those curious about the sport, should definitely join the practice. There is great potential for this club, and it can go in a different direction with new leadership. It does not hurt to give archery a try, and students can show up for one practice to test out if this is something for them.